The Problem with Queueing in Restaurants

03 Apr 2019 | Blog

Queueing – it is that inevitable part of dining in a fast-casual restaurant, bar, club, or pub where customers have to line up to place their order. Some customers have the patience to wait, while others simply walk away at the sight of a long line. But all the same: it poses problems in the way customers perceive their dining experience, and thus it is time restaurants should take the problem seriously to address it.  

People go to out to have an excellent dining experience, and that is exactly what venues should strive to deliver. But when venues get busy, and customers find themselves lining up to order, this results in people being away from their company. The main reason why customers go to out is to socialise with friends or family over a meal. And spending time away from the table to order, disrupts the whole experience, defeating the purpose of dining out in the first place.

There are other issues concerning queueing that venues may not have even considered before. But knowing these problems is the first step to solving them. Here are some of the ways queueing can impact venues beyond just the customer experience:

Inaccurate order processing

When venues get busy, staff are put under a lot of pressure to serve a lot of customers. The natural reaction to a long line, is to put orders through the system as quickly as possible, which can often result in errors being made. Staff may accidentally enter the order incorrectly, or in cases where group diners’ orders are kept open until the last person from the table has ordered, staff can forget to close the order, resulting in them never arriving to the kitchen. These minor human errors can ultimately lead to bad customer experiences. And the follow-on effect is that some customers may decide not to return to your venue.  

Missed opportunities for revenue

Time is a valuable asset both for staff and for customers. And the longer it takes for venues to serve their customers because of long lines, the more opportunities are wasted for revenue. Some diners see the queue and decide that there’s no way they can fathom lining up to order when there is an alternative place to eat nearby. And so, they walk away immediately. Others may decide to line up and then change their mind after waiting long enough to decide their time is being wasted. Especially when this is the time they could have spent at the table with their group. These diners ultimately make up the market that venues miss out on. Not only that, by removing customers from the queue, you give them an opportunity to spend their money in other ways around your venue. Be that on drinks at the bar or for some venues even the pokie machines. Situations like these are missed opportunities for profit which restaurant owners should be taking seriously to address.

Occupational hazards

Another thing about queueing that can be a cause for concern, is that they can be an occupational hazard for venues, especially when there isn’t a designated area for the queue. It can interfere with the walkway between the dining area and the kitchen where staff are bringing meals out to customers or returning empty dishes. In some cases, it can also interfere with tables where customers are seated and trying to enjoy their meal. The experience can be disruptive and potentially hazardous for staff and their diners as well.

In summary, queueing can be extremely disruptive to customer dining experiences and it can also have an impact on many other aspects of your business. It is a problem that venues should not be ignoring, but rather, striving to resolve, particularly when it impacts on revenue opportunities. By resolving these issues, venues will be able to gain their customers’ trust in delivering an excellent service and overall experience.

If your venue is experiencing these issues, you should consider using a pre order system like TableTime, as it offers a solution designed to remove queueing and the associated problems. Not only that, it offers a range of other benefits including driving more customers to your venue. If you want to learn how the app can benefit your business, visit today.